Misery for motorists is set to continue as work to repair three bridges on the A47 in Lynn will now continue into early August.
The roadworks on the town’s southern bypass were due to finish today, but “unexpected repairs” have pushed back the completion date by two weeks until Tuesday, August 12.
Local councillors are now demanding answers from the Highways Agency, questionning why original surveys did not pick up the extent of the repairs, and whether contractors have taken advantage of the heatwave to work through the night and catch up.
The work to the River Great Ouse, River Nar and Harbour Junction bridges between the Pullover Roundabout and Hardwick Roundabout got underway in June. Traffic was reduced to a single lane and a 30mph speed limit was set up for the work, which has involved replacing the waterproofing on the bridges, replacing bridge joints, and resurfacing the bridge decks.
But unexpected repairs and rain when waterproofing was due to take place has caused “unavoidable delays”.
Alexandra Kemp, county councillor for Clenchwarton and Lynn South, said: “I can’t believe the Highways Agency don’t have the right equipment to diagnose the real extent of repairs. This is why they couldn’t schedule the works accurately.
“How much are these extra delays going to cost the taxpayer?”
Sue Cross, chairman of Clenchwarton Parish Council, said: “Contractors should have been working 24/7 to get this done on time in the first place.”
They said the roadworks have turned Station Road in Clenchwarton into a “rat run”, with large lorries driving through the village, and said delays will impact on Lynn businesses and tourism during the summer holidays.
Thankfully, the works did not cause anticipated problems when thousands of people headed to the Norfolk Arena for the Speedway World Cup on Saturday.
Norfolk Arena owner, Buster Chapman, said: “We put up our own direction signs and warned people about possible delays. It was quite manageable, not the disaster we thought it could be.”
Ranjit Mistry, Highways Agency project sponsor, said:
“The delays are due to additional repairs needing to be carried out to the bridges and rain when waterproofing work was scheduled to take place. We have reprogrammed the remaining maintenance work and plan to finish on August 12.”